Cablegate: Chile Media Reaction - Iraq
DE RUEHSG #2224 2961335
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231335Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0236
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 002224
STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA, PM
STATE FOR INL, INR/R/MR, NEA/IR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO OPRC PTER CI IZ
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REACTION - IRAQ
1. On October 21, conservative, independent "La Tercera" (Sat.
circ. 195,626) carried and editorial entitled "Similarity between
Iraq and Vietnam." Quote:
2. "President George W. Bush admitted similarities between the war
in Iraq and Vietnam... He specifically compared the 1968 Tet
Offensive, where the North Vietnamese communist forces achieved an
important tactical and psychological advantage, and Iraq, where the
U.S. military authorities have admitted their inability to contain
the growing wave of attacks against its forces and the Iraqi
government.... This has political significance, because until now
the White House had explicitly objected to any comparison between
the two conflicts.... But other similarities are also valid.
3. As in Vietnam, in Iraq the United States seems to be trapped in
a conflict it cannot control...has no strategy to withdraw or one
that will allow it to remain and move toward clear objectives....
The goal of that war, contain the expansion of Communism...was at
least easy to learn. The current one -- to make Iraq a functional
democracy so that it can...instill democratic values in an important
and conflictive region -- is not only ambitious, but harder to
assess.... Plus, the war in Iraq has been put in the context of the
War on Terrorism...a policy that...has emotionally involved
Americans after the 9-11 attacks.
4. Therefore, although the United States is in the process of
restating its strategy in Iraq, this war could become a paradigm for
the world power as Vietnam was in terms of shaping...the political,
military, and strategic position of the White House, the Pentagon,
and the Department of State. Iraq is already determining how other
conflicts are handled (Iran and North Korea) and will be a reference
point for future crisis."